b)  What: The Tomato (Beefsteak, plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, campari tomatoes)
Smell: Fresh, like a leaf/nature
Touch: round, smooth, slippery.
Looks: Comes in a variety of colors such as red, yellow, green, orange, pink, purple, black, white.
Taste: sweet, juicy, zesty, can also be bitter.

i) The tomato is a native fruit/vegetable to South America. The first ancestors of tomatoes were found in the highlands of Peru which were a herbaceous green plants with a small green fruits and a center of diversity. The first domesticated tomato was a little yellow fruit, the size of a cherry tomato that was grown by the Aztecs of Central Mexico. Aztec writings show that tomatoes were prepared with peppers, corn, and salt. The word tomato comes from the Aztec word tomatl, meaning “the swelling fruit.” It is said that Cortes, the Spanish explorer may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after capturing Tenochltitlan (present day Mexico City, 1521). Others believe that Christopher Columbus was the first European to take back the tomato in 1493. The tomato first appeared in European literature in an herbal written by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and boatnist in 1544. Aztecs and other people of this region used the fruit in their cooking. In addition to the tomato being a fruit/vegetable used in food and drinks, the Pueblo people believed that those who witnessed the ingestion of tomato seeds were blessed with powers of divination. In North America, the first tomato reported to be grown was in 1710, when herbalist William Salmon saw them in South Carolina. During this time, tomatoes were grown more as ornamental plants than as food. Several states such as Florida and California are major tomato-producers because of their longer growing season and because tomato is a heat-loving crop. In California, tomatoes are grown under irrigation for the fresh fruit market and for canning and processing. In addition, california growers use dry-farming method of cultivation in which the technique encourages the plant to send roots deep to find existing moisture in soil that retains moisture.
Tomato  is now grown worldwide as a fruit/vegetable. There are a variety of tomatoes such as cherry tomato, beefsteak tomato, plum tomato, and Roma-type tomato. Tomato seeds are mainly grown with organic seed, however, there are use of heirloom seeds (hybirds). Tomato Tomato is used in many ways, including raw in salad, processed into ketchup or tomato soup, unripe green tomatoes are breaded and fried, used to makes salsa or pickles. It is also used in drinks such as tomato juice and cocktails such as the Bloody Mary. Because tomatoes are acidic, they can easily be preserved at home by canning whole, or in pieces, as tomato sauce or paste. As a fruit, it can be preserved by drying. Consumption of tomato is believed to benefit the heart. Tomato contains lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. Cooked tomatoes has been found to help prevent prostate cancer. Studies also has been shown that Lycopene improves the skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays. Tomato varieties are available with high nutrition value such as vitamin C, vitamin A, anthocyanin, in addition to lycopene. At last, tomato consumption has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers, and protect against neurodegenerative diseases. Tomatoes that are not ripe yet can be stored at room temperature uncovered, out of direct sunlight, until ripe which will have a shelf live of 3 to 4 days. When ripe, they should be used to 1 to 2 days. Tomatoes should only be refrigerated when ripened, however, this will affect the flavor.
ii) In New York City, community gardens are dwindling, however, private gardens are sprouting throughout the city through forums such as Metro New York Home and Garden. Gardeners meet and discuss soil pH levels, manure sources and flowers that might thrive in a 10th floor apartment. Tomatoes can be grown inside the home, in a community/private garden, and on the fire escape/balcony. Tomatoes come in two different types; determinate and indeterminate. Determinates have vines that grow to a determined point and stop. Indeterminates are viney, in which the vines continue to grow and need support. Determinates bear fruit early, which indeterminates produce later fruit. Determinates are better suited for small gardens and for containers. Since we are in the east coast where the four seasons are distinct, tomatoes cannot be successfully grown until at least mid-May of after May 31. Tomatoes are okay to plant when the temperature is a consistent 50 degree fahrenheit. However, the plant will not begin to set fruit until the overnight low is regularly above 55 degrees. Plant tomatoes approximately 2 to 3 free apart from each other or in rows three feet apart with a foot space in between. They should be harvested until ripe or when it is just starting to soften. Fresh tomatoes start to lose its flavor when they go below 55 degrees fahrenheit. Tomatoes require a lot of sun, but they will grow in any soil. Tomatoes do very well when planted in containers and watering them is very important.

c) Target Audience
New York City teenagers (Age 12-18)
-Middle school kids (Age 12-14)
– Studies show that middle school students consume less amount of fruit and vegetables than elementary students.
– The only vegetable items preferred by most middle school students were baby carrots and salad.
– School lunch is filled with mainly carbs and sweets, without many options for fruit and vegetables.
– Health education for students (Do they know what food is good for them? Why should they eat fruits and
vegetables? How to make smarter choices?)
– Most schools do not compost, have a garden, or grow anything at all.
– Middle school kids resort to snacks and sugar filled drinks.
– Promote the good facts of tomatoes in a manner where it is not forced or authoritative but lay the nutrition values
that might, hopefully want them make the choice of eating tomatoes.
– There are ways to make tomatoes taste better (put sugar over them)
– Quick and easy way to take snacks to school.
– Fun and a way to build responsibility and important task when growing tomatoes of your own.
– Thinking “Green” (Help the environment)

d) Vitamin T!
Delicious way to keep the UV rays away!
Red just like your heart.
One a day, shoo the breast cancer away!
Healthy start for the future.
Delicious way to stay healthy.





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